Muslim countries should stand up to Islamophobia, says PM Imran Khan

Web Desk
Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking during the Ulema and Mashaikh Conference in Islamabad on February 8, 2021. Photo: Screengrab via Geo News.

  • PM Imran Khan says Muslim countries should collectively raise their voice against Islamophobia
  • Laments that Muslim countries did nothing to counter the Western narrative of "Islamic radicalism" and "Islamic extremism"
  • Urges religious scholars to spread awareness about Riyasat-e-Madina among masses for betterment of society 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that Muslim countries should collectively voice their concerns against Islamophobia and stand up to the West for associating Islam with terrorism.

The prime minister was addressing the Ulema and Mashaikh Conference in Islamabad during which he said that since he understands the West better than others, he has raised the issue of Islamophobia on all forums from time to time.

"The West conveniently associated Islam with terrorism but in the last 20 years, Muslim countries unfortunately, did not respond to this narrative," he said. "Muslim leaders should have stood up to the West and made it clear that there is no link between Islam, or any other religion, with terrorism."

Read more: PM Imran Khan raises issues of Islamophobia, extremism at SCO moot

The premier explained that extremists exist in all societies, but when western countries started using terms like "radical Islam," "Islamic extremism," and even started associating suicide bombing with Islam, Muslim leaders did nothing to counter this disinformation campaign against Islam and the problem kept worsening.

"Before 9/11, suicide bombings were majorly carried out by the [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] in Sri Lanka, a group comprising Hindus, but nobody ever associated Hinduism with terrorism," he said, adding that before the World War II, the Japanese also carried out suicide attacks in American ships but no one associated their religion with terrorism.

He said that those Muslims living in Western countries, and even in India, are facing a lot of problems because of Islamophobia. 

"When Muslim women living in the West go out of their houses wearing a headscarf, people taunt them," the PM said. "Similarly, bearded Muslim men have to face derogatory remarks."

The PM assured that he will continue to raise his voice against Islamophobia. 

'Religious scholars play an important role in society'

During the conference, he also said that religious scholars have historically played an important role in the creation of Pakistan and they continue to do so, therefore, they should make the masses aware of the concept of Riyasat-e-Madina.

The PM added that when people "forget the distinction between good and bad, society moves toward disintegration and destruction." 

"It is my faith that any nation which follows the concept of Riyasat-e-Madina will move towards advancement," he said. "The same rules which were seen in Riyasat-e-Madina can now be seen in welfare states, especially in Scandinavian countries."

He said that corruption is another important issue on which the Ulema should educate people to make this menace unacceptable in the society.

Related: Pakistan, Iran concerned over rising Islamophobia